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Published on January 23rd, 2013 | by Guest Writer


Who Sells the Most Phones in the world?

When posed this question my mind straight away went to Apple. They sold 45 million iPhone 5 handset in the fourth quarter of 2012. They sit impressively placed with an amazingly loyal customer base; many of their customers has every one of the handsets in the iPhone series.

The Answer in 2011

The answer surprised me… It might do you too …

In 2011 the biggest seller of mobile phones was in fact Nokia. They made 30% of all shipments in the year. Samsung made 24% of the sales in 2011.

The Answer in 2012

There has been a bit of a dramatic shift though with Samsung taking over the mantle of the leading mobile phone sales company in the world. In 2012 they are forecast to sell 30% of all mobile phones worldwide while Nokia will attain 24% in 2012. This is quite a turnaround…

Why the Change?

So what has been the driver? It seems that this change in power has been predominantly due to increasing numbers of people taking up Smartphones.

With Nokia well place in the non-smartphone market, after 14 years as leading vendor of total mobile phones, there has been a shift in the number of smartphones shipped.

The percentage of smartphone to non-smartphone shipment has risen from 35% in 2011 to 45% in 2012. It appears the proportion of smartphones will increase into 2013.


Samsung have had a great year in 2012 in the smartphone market. Their Galaxy S 3 and Galaxy Note ii have been leading lights in the market. Samsung has awards for the best gadget of the year for the Note II. So how will Nokia compete?

The simple answer is by continuing to compete and by one key strategic partnership. Nokia has partnered with Microsoft over the Windows Phone 8 series. Reports of the launch have been positive. There are increasing numbers of apps and it is a solid contender. The potential decline of Apple will certainly help Nokia.

Samsung’s Competition

The Nokia Lumia 920 has been a great addition to the market this yea. Filled with bags of innovation and character it is the preferred choice for some as phone of the year. However, Nokia are going to have to continue to improve as competition increases.

RIM’s Blackberry range is set to re-enter with a new operating system and handset on 30th January 2013 and Google, LG and Samsung have taken the gloves off in the race for first place in the smartphone market.

. . . . .

I was surprised to hear Nokia were leading the mobile phone race for so long. The market in the UK is very developed though, and the figures must be largely driven by countries with lower smartphone percentages. I was not surprised, after thinking about it, that Samsung has taken the lead in world market share of mobile phones ovewrall.

So who does everyone here think will come out on top in the battle of the mobile phone giants? Let’s have your top three in podium order… Then we will revisit this in a ear and see whether people got their predictions right!

Phil Turner has checked Orange deals on both contract and pay as you go phones, but has decided to stick with the phone he has.

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